Low Tide

Yacht Designer Tad Roberts' Web Log


Scow Schooner hull design

Making a simple cardstock hull model of my 32′ x 11′ cruising scow schooner. Explaining a shape can sometimes be difficult. So I encourage potential builders to make a simple model. Even something very crude teaches all kinds of lessons in how a boat might go together. Having something to hold in your hand is[.....]


Bluenose and Columbia raced against each other in only two races in 1923. Bluenose was then 2 years old and Columbia brand new. Bluenose won both those races but the committee awarded the second race to Columbia due to Bluenose rounding a mark improperly. Angus Walters took exception and left Halifax without the issue being[.....]

Modern Schooner Design

It’s been quite a while since I thought of this boat. I made the drawing 13 years ago (2001) and still haven’t seen anyone use this arrangement. It’s based on the old fishing schooners with main cabin in a trunk aft of the mainmast. This is a big boat, 160′ on deck and 130′ on[.....]

Lumberjack, an ocean racing schooner

Black hull, teak house, and tanbark sails is the proper look for a schooner. Few look the part as well as Lumberjack. Lumberjack is a steel schooner designed in 1935 by Victor Brix. She was built by G. De Vries in Amsterdam, originally under another name and ketch rigged. Just after WWII the Hon. Sir[.....]

Sterling Hayden and Wanderer

Any story telling session among sailors out here on the West Coast will not go long before someone mentions Sterling Hayden. Writer, Actor, Father, and mostly Sailor, he was a larger than life character who touched the lives of many, but perhaps especially those concerned with boats and sailing. It seems that many true sailor’s[.....]

The Le Clere’s and Pacific Yew

Sometimes it’s hard to believe the riches we in BC are blessed with. I’m thinking about boatbuilding materials today. Many countries or parts of the world have one or no indigenous high quality boatbuilding woods. New Zealand has Kauri, the Philippines have their Mahogany, Africa has Iroko, and Burma Teak. But we have 5! Western[.....]

Bluenose II Launched

The Bluenose II went back in the water last week. I feel a lot better now. As a symbol the old (built 1963) horribly hogged Bluenose II was an embarrassment. The new laminated structure will hold her shape for many decades to come, a wise investment. So now we’ll have a circus of lawyers and[.....]

Sealing Schooners

The Pelagic Sealing Industry boomed from the 1880’s until it was closed by international treaty in 1911. The sealing was done from small open boats based aboard relatively small sailing schooners. This Bering Sea sealing fleet was based out of Victoria BC and in the photo above some of the schooners are seen in the[.....]

Working Schooners

I was wondering about the web last night when I became aware that the term “Working Schooner” might be in danger from copy writers in Hollywood. Due to the recent popularity of certain Disney movies, what were formerly honest working vessels are being converted to “Pirate Ships”. Instead of hauling cargo, carrying paying passengers, or[.....]